#INDvAUS, 2nd Test: India on the verge of a famous win as Australia are reduced to 101 for 6 at Tea – Ravichandran Ashwin turning it on!
Australian captain Steve Smith, (C), vice captain David Warner (2L) and the Indian team wait for the third umpires decision on Australian David Warners appeal for his LBW dismissal during the fourth day of the second Test match between India and Australia at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on March 7, 2017 (AFP)
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets in a session to help reduce Australia to 101 for six at tea on a tense fourth day, with the touring side still needing 87 more runs for victory in the second test on Tuesday.
On a M. Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch where deliveries were keeping low and spinners were able to extract sharp turn, Australia were set a target of 188 to take a 2-0 lead in the four-match series between the world's top two test sides.
Peter Handscomb was unbeaten on 19 with Matthew Wade's dismissal for a duck sending the players in for the tea break. After dismissing the dangerous opening batsman David Warner for 17 in his first spell, Ashwin returned before the interval to send back Mitchell Marsh and Wade.
Fast bowler Umesh Yadav got the big wicket of Australia captain Steve Smith, who was out leg before to a grubber of a ball that stayed so low it almost hit his boot. Smith was out for 28 and also subjected to some angry words from Indian fielders while he appeared to look towards his dressing room for advice before opting against a review of the decision.
Umesh also dismissed Shaun Marsh leg before for nine, when he padded a delivery outside the off stump. The batsman would have been saved if he had reviewed the verdict with replays showing the ball was missing the wicket. Josh Hazlewood earlier picked up career-best figures of 6-67 to rip through India's batting on the fourth morning and restrict the hosts to 274 in their second innings.
Smith started with spin from both ends to try and break the fifth-wicket partnership between Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane but when the new ball was available after 80 overs, he handed it to his pacemen. Left-arm quick Mitchell Starc was erratic in his first two overs with it, but had soon made a key breakthrough by dismissing Rahane leg before for 52 with a full inswinging delivery.
The batsman was given not out but Smith successfully overturned the decision on review to end a partnership of 118 between Pujara and Rahane. Starc rattled the stumps of Karun Nair next ball for a duck and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha only just kept out the hat-trick delivery.
The 26-year-old Hazlewood, who had taken three wickets on Monday, took up the gauntlet in the following over and struck a major blow to India's hopes by dismissing Pujara for 92, caught at gully.
Ashwin was also out in the same over for four to the right-arm paceman with the ball keeping low and going under his bat to disturb the stumps. Umesh became Hazlewood's sixth victim as India lost five wickets for just 20 runs in 19 deliveries.
Saha remained unbeaten on 20 and added 16 valuable runs with number 11 Ishant Sharma, whose dismissal for six at the hands of Australia's first test hero Steve O'Keefe brought an end to the innings.
India 1st Innings: 189
Australia 1st Innings: 276
India 2nd Innings: 274 all out in 97.1 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 92, KL Rahul 51; Josh Hazlewood 6/67).
Australia 2nd innings: 101 for 6 in 27.5 overs (Steven Smith 28; R Ashwin 3/35). PTI CM